The Timaru Herald
‘We managed to get Christian back’ – doctor
As Christian Eriksen lay unconscious on the field, his pulse slipping away, Denmark team doctor Morten Boesen quickly realised there wasn’t a second to lose.
‘‘He was breathing, and I could feel his pulse. But suddenly that changed,’’ Boesen said. ‘‘And as everyone saw, we started giving him CPR.’’
The next 10 minutes were among the scariest to unfold during a match at football’s European Championship. Several medics worked frenetically to give Eriksen chest compressions while his team-mates choked away tears and formed a circle around the midfielder to shield the scene from public view.
And finally, the eerie silence that had descended around Parken Stadium in Copenhagen was replaced cheers.
‘‘We managed to get Christian back,’’ Boesen said. ‘‘And he spoke to me before he was taken to the hospital.’’
Eriksen was awake and in stable condition after being taken to a Copenhagen hospital, the Danish football federation said.
His collapse, which came in the 43rd minute of the match against Finland, led to the game with massive being suspended for about 90 minutes before both teams made the decision to play on. Finland went on to win 1-0 after Joel Pohjanpalo scored in the 60th minute and goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky later saved a penalty.
But in the end, the result seemed merely an afterthought.
‘‘Of course you can’t play a game with such feelings,’’ said Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand. ‘‘What we tried to do was
At a glance
Results from the opening weekend of Euro 2020: Italy 3 Turkey 0, Wales 1 Switzerland 1, Denmark 0 Finland 1, Belgium 3 Russia 0.
incredible. It’s incredible the players managed to go out and try to play the second half.’’
UEFA said both teams had held an emergency meeting before deciding to continue playing. The players came back out onto the field to a huge ovation as they started warming up for a second time.
Eriksen had just played a short pass when he fell faceforward onto the ground. His team-mates immediately gestured for help and medics rushed onto the field.
Eriksen’s partner, Sabrina Kvist Jensen, went onto the field and was comforted by Denmark captain Simon Kjaer and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.
The Finland players huddled by their bench and eventually walked off the field while the Inter Milan midfielder was still getting treatment, as did the referees.
Eriksen was eventually carried off to a loud ovation, with his team-mates walking next to the stretcher.
The incident brought back memories of other football players who have collapsed on the field, including Marc-Vivien Foe and Fabrice Muamba. Foe died while playing for Cameroon during the 2003 Confederations Cup in France, while Muamba needed CPR in 2012 when he collapsed in a match between Bolton and Tottenham at White Hart Lane in north London.
Muamba, who fully recovered, wrote ‘‘Please God’’ on Twitter as Eriksen was taken to hospital.